Carroll county is one of the best
counties in the state. The soil is best suited to the growth of corn, yet a line
quality of oats, wheat, and other cereals can be grown. and a yield received
sufficient to make it profitable.
Stock raising is becoming one of the
leading occupations of Carroll county and the city of Carroll has become quite
a stock market.
The land is rolling enough to admit of good drainage
without being rough. The farms are all well improved, the buildings commodious
and well kept. A stranger driving through the country realizes that he is in a
community of thrifty, intelligent and progressive farmers.
Carroll being located in the midst of
a county composed of this class of people is in a position that offers
encouragement to enterprising business men. and they are taking advantage of it.
The town of Carroll was laid out in
August 1867 by the railroad company who were then building the Northwestern
road. It was evident to men who were accustomed to close, useful observation
that Carroll would be the leading town in Carroll county, and therefore this was the class who
settled here and laid the foundation for her present prosperity.
In 1868 the question of moving the
county seat from Carrollton to Carroll began to be agitated and in May was
decided in favor of the change, by a vote of 88 to 33. This gave the
confidence in the future of the town that went far towards the success.
The first man to go into business in the
new town was A. L. Kidder who started a general store in the fall
of 1868. In a few months others followed and by the close of the year 1869
the population of the county seat of Carroll county
numbered 384. From that time up to the present, every year was seen a gradual
but steady growth. In the last ten years the increase has been heavier than
before, and it is not hard to imagine this as a city of twice its present size
by the beginning' of the next century. The following figures will bear ns out
in this prediction:
Population of 1870—384, 1875-812, 1880—1382,
1885--1885, 1890— 2400, 1897—3300.
Carroll was first incorporated in 1869.
The first officers were, mayor, I. N. Griffith: recorder, B. B. Berry:
trustees, John W. King, D. Wayne, L. C. Bailey, F. E. Bennett. and Wm.
T. Booth: attorney, O. H. Manning.
In 1879 Carroll was visited by a very disastrous fire. It
seems to be either the fortune or misfortune of every new town to have an
experience of this kind sometime during its early history, and we sometimes
think it is a necessary thing, for it is seldom that a start is made towards
substantial brick buildings until after the merchants have been taught that it
was necessary as a protection to their property. In the above mentioned
year the town was nearly all frame buildings and so provisions had been made for
fire protection. As a result, a fire that need not have extended further than
the building in which it originated, spread like a prairie fire and the best
portion of the business part of town was entirely destroyed. The loss was about
$200,000, with insurance amounting to less than $35,000. Of course the old story
of “locking the barn door after the horse was stolen” was repeated, only in this
case better “horses” in the way of good brick buildings were put up. The city
government at once took measures to prevent the repetition of the late disaster.
A well was sunk in the north part of town and a large windmill and tank erected.
Water mains were laid over the town and 12 hydrants were put in, a fire engine
purchased and a sufficient amount of hose to make quite a complete fire
apartment. About $11,000 was spent in the plant. This supplied the town till
1882, when an experiment was tried, at an expense of $9,000. A steam pump was
purchased and an attempt made to pump water from the Coon river. There were also
some extensions made in the water mains. After two years trial of this, it was
found unsatisfactory and in 1894 two deep wells were sunk and two steam pumps
put in which have furnished an abundant supply of excellent water. The water
works now represent an expenditure of about $30,000.
There are about five miles of water mains, 26 hydrants, 2 deep wells fitted
with high grade steam pumps and a horizontal pump for forcing the water through
the mains. During the next year it is expected that a stand pipe will be built
and then Carroll will have a system of water works as fine as there is in any
town of its size in the state.
The splendid railroad facilities of Carroll soon made it apparent that it
would eventually become an excellent distributing point and in 1889 the Lett-Fletcher
Wholesale Company of Marshalltown decided to establish a branch at this point.
This has developed into one of the best business enterprises of the kind in the
western part of the state and Carroll is very proud of it. As a wholesale
distributing point for liquor it has taken quite a prominent place there being
four wholesale liquor establishments all in flourishing condition at present.
During the year of 1892 the city had the greatest growth in its history in way
of the public and private improvements. The aggregate of value of these
improvements amounting to $300,550.
The buildings were: A normal college, tow new hotels, two
categories, two machine shops, two public school building, one electric light
plant, heat and power plant, four new business blocks, an extension of the water
works and one hundred and ten new dwelling houses.
Like every other town within the borders of this country,
Carroll felt the effects of the severe panic of 1893. Many of her most
important industries ere still in their infancy and were not firmly enough
established to withstand the continued depression hence the shoe factory and
knitting factory were compelled to close their doors. But it is a
remarkable fact that they were the only business firm of any importance that
were forced to the wall. This of itself is as good a recommendation as any
town needs as to the stability of its business enterprises. There is one
thing that is sure to impress itself upon the stranger who pays his first visit
to Carroll. That is the solid substantial manner in which all the latest
buildings are constructed and the large number of fine residences in proportion
to the size of the town. It tells him at once that these people have
confidence in the city and that they have come here to stay. It also shows
that the business men need have no fear of their rating by the commercial
The city has always been blessed with banking facilities that
are thoroughly responsible and conducted by men who had the interest of the town
at heart and Carroll has never been visited by that terribly paralyzing
disaster-- a bank failure.
In the spring of 1892 the people voted to change the city from
one of the third class to one of the second class and it is now under a charter
of that grade. In the matter of educational facilities Carroll is in the
front rank. Care has always been taken to keep the schools up to date in
methods and teachers employed who were fully qualified for the positions they
were expected to fill. There are two fine school buildings, one in the
south part and the other in the north part. The north building has nine
rooms and the south has five. They are both built of brick and fitted with
all the latest appliances of heat etc.
There are six religious denominations represented in Carroll.
The Methodist, Baptist, German Lutheran, Church of God, Presbyterian and
Catholic. The Catholics have two churches, the St. Joseph and St. Peter
and Paul. The St. Joseph church is one of the finest buildings in his part
of the state. It is built entirely of stone and is indeed an imposing
2/3 of the above sections
Transcribed by: Sandra Carter
German Catholic Church
O. J. Niles entered the land on which Coon
Rapids now stands in Union Township, in 1855. Mr. Niles was from Western
Michigan, and probably of Yankee birth. He was a peculiar character in many
respects, and was considered an oracle of wisdom by the first settlers. He was
elected a justice of the peace, and frequently acted as agent for the settlers
in purchasing household supplies at Des Moines. He lived in a 16x36 log
house, the site of Mr. Shute's present residence. It is related that a man named
Tuttle, of Tuttle Grove, felt a grievance over a horse trade he had made with
Samuel Wilson, and stated the details of the transaction to Squire Niles. The
squire listened patiently, and at the close advised Mr. Tuttle that the law
in the case was so complicated that he couldn't obtain justice! Some
suspicious persons, always inquiring as to the relations of cause to affect,
remarked that Wilson was a splendid shot, and Niles was very fond of venison.
The old town of Coon Rapids never had to
succeed fifteen houses. The census of 1880 credits the place with fifty-four
inhabitants. When, in 1881 the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul Railroad was
laid through the southern part of Carroll county and passed near Coon
Rapids, a new town was laid out by the Western Town Lot Company about
one-fourth of a mile west of the primitive village and houses went up as if by
magic. So many were building that it is impossible to say who was first.
The most of the growth occurred in 1882 and '83. The census of 1885 gives Coon Rapids 729 inhabitants. The
town has excellent prospects for further growth and always does a good business
with the surrounding country. The population in '98 is about 1200.
The destructive visitation of the cyclone
of April 14, 1886 will never be forgotten by the present inhabitants of Coon
Rapids as it did immense damage to the down destroying every thing in its path.
The first graded school building was put up
in 1883. It was a good two story frame containing four rooms; was on the
hill north of the main part of town and cost $3,400. The cyclone of April
14 1886 destroyed this and the same year the present building was erected. It
was complete in November at the cost of $4,000. It is a two story frame
painted stone color and contains five rooms.
The religious denominations represented
here are as follows: Methodist Episcopal-Organized by Rev. Merson in 1876 with a
small membership. The church is a building 34x55 feet in size. The
First Presbyterian church was organized on May 14, 1883 by Rev. T. S. Bailey,
Synodical Missionary for the Synod of Iowa and is a large commodious building.
The Christian Church of this place was
organized first nearly twenty years ago. A preacher lives here and holds
services every month. In 1882 the church was reorganized by Rev. J. W. W.
The Catholics have a frame church in the
northwest part of the town built two years ago. Father Schulte of
Templeton holds services here every month. The membership is largely in
F. W. Stilwill J. B. Hungerford
To our Readers:
The Carroll Herald
I dedicate this book of sketches and portraits to the energetic
public spirited men and women who have been instrumental in building up a
community of refined and intellectual people upon what was in the early history
of the lives of most of our readers a wilderness of prairie. To them more
honor is due than they are generally given credit for. These
pioneers have passed through hardships and privations of which the later
generation known nothing. In this work we have recorded some points of
interest in these lines that in future generations will be much more highly
appreciated then at present. While in the space allotted in them I have
been unable to do them full justice. I feel that every good word said of
each subject is full merited.
We publish herewith a portrait of the editor of the Herald.
Mr. J. B. Hungerford who has the distinction of being the oldest newspaper man
in the city in point of years and the second oldest in the county. The
Herald holds the respected position of the leading Republican weekly in Carroll
county and of being one of the most ably edited country weeklies in Western
Iowa. Probably no paper in the state aside from the leading daily's
attract more attention and carries more weight in the political attitude of the
parity in this state. His office now occupies the first and second floor
of a large brick block on Main street and is a bee hive of industry both in the
job and bindery department. There is a force of from nine to twelve
persons employed on the newspaper and in the bindery. The bindery is owned
by our subject and Mr. J. B. Fitzgerald and they are filled up with the latest
machinery for bindery and turn out a very supreme class of work. --F. W. S.
Office Force of the Carroll Herald and Bindery
Miss Mabel Lowry-bindery, Jr. B. Fitzgerald- Prop. & Foreman
Bindery, Harry Fahrion-Bindery, Will Ranger-Composition, Harry Darr-Devil
Miss Myrtle Feck-Composition, John Hendrickson-Foreman Herald,
Ralph Maclean-Local Editor, Ray Dunphy (?)-Composition
Carroll High School (north side)
The Clio Club
Mrs. Sarah S. Young
Mrs. Mattie K. Watts
Mrs. Ruth O. Culbertson
Miss Rosilia Thurimann
Mrs. Ella M. Burke Mrs. Edith C. Park
Mrs. Margaret Lee
This is the age in which the women of the world are showing
their true worth as they never did before. In matters of public education
and advancement they are taking the lead.
In the city of Carroll the ladies have the honor of maintaining
the only club in town and this one is not devoted to whist, billiards or
banqueting but to furnishing means for intellectual advancement. Its rooms
are located on Sixth street between Main and Adam's streets and is composed of
two well furnished rooms one of which is used for a club room; the other for the
library. The club was organized in 1884 by a few of Carroll's bright
ladies among whom were the names of Mrs. B. Wayne (its first president),
Mrs. E. M. Burke, Mrs. Rayen, Mrs. Macomber and Mrs. Cook as charter members.
The library was selected March 18, 1894 and Mrs. Martha Bangs
was the first librarian. Since then the club has made rapid strides and
the library is now composed of 1230 volumes of the choicest literature to be
The club has raised all the funds for the maintenance and
improvement of this library by entertainments give by the organization and are
entirely free from debt. The membership fee is $1 per year for ticket to
library or 5 cents per volume. The club dues are $1 per year and
initiation fee 50 cents per member.
The club now has a membership of about fifty composed of the
most intelligent ladies of the city. A literary class meets on Saturday of
each week and give a program papers are read the general topics of the day are
discussed. This year the class is studying the history of Russia.
The member of the club are justly proud of their organization
for there is no question its rare value as an educational venture. It
speaks well for the future of the younger generation of the city and the
masculine portion should give it their hearty support.
The names of the officers are as follows: President, Mrs. Edith
C. Park; vice president, Mrs. Ella M. Burke; secretary, Miss Rosalia Thurimann;
treasurer, Mrs. Mattie K. Watts; federal secretary, Mrs. Addie L. Wright; library
committee, Mrs. Kate L. Macomber, Mrs. Ruth O. Culbertson and Miss Bertha M.
Bangs; program committee, Mrs. Ella M. Burke, Mrs. Kate F. Macomber and Mrs.
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